Sounds way too familiar to far too many people. Thanks to this veteran's wife for sharing her story!
Right now my husband is sleeping on the living room floor, because our bed hurts his back. An IED got him the first time in Iraq, and the second time (2004) a grenade to his back. I am the wife of a surviving veteran that has been crying out for help for 6 years. We have been in and out of Washington State VA hospitals without any help, and all this neglect has made my husband's PTSD shoot up so bad that I'm now walking on eggshells. He is not the man he used to be.
Today he has vomited, his sciatica pain is beyond words, stomach hurts, and body chills. You would think to just take him into the hospital to be seen,but that is exactly the reason why he is going through all the pain here at home. For 6 years we would go in and out of the VA hospitals E.R, urgent care, with only pain pills in our pocket. The same pain pills that make him throw up. They would say "you need to call your doctor and set up an appointment". We would do that with a month out wait time,( leaving messages on machines ) and doctors even loosing paperwork in the past.
Before he got out the Army they did an MRI, but not once in six years did the VA look at them, nor take new ones. He has never been tested for brain injuries either. It is very hard to help his PTSD when he is in chronic pain! Last 2 years have been the worst on our marriage and family. His anger scares me sometimes, and I really don't know how " real" his words are.
We told the VA verbally and in person to the psych doctor that he is suicidal, and they did not call us back, or do a followup. After he attempted to end his life (while on a road trip) I called the National Hotline for the Veterans and they told me " sorry we can't help someone who does not want to get help".
Since then we are now living in California and in the few weeks we have lived here the VA hospital has been WONDERFUL! He has a MRI scheduled, x-rays done ,and a case manger calling us to see how he is doing. It is a true miracle ! The problem though that leads me to 1 am and a stubborn hurt man is, after 6 years of being ignored by those who are supposed to help, he does not want to go to E.R tonight. He assumes he will have to wait 10 hours to be given pain pills and sent home. Mentally it is to late for him - he is so depressed. Physically he can't move, can't do daily activities, and support our family . I have high hopes that the California VA system will help him, and help with his PTSD. I just wish that 6 years ago he could of got this kind of support. In the next couple days he has another appointment, so I am hoping that this truly is a new start.